I've written a couple of posts about Apple's new naming strategy that began with the new MacBook Pro, announced last month. After a lot of speculation about the naming of the desktop lineup it appears that Apple may have settled on "Mac Pro."
An article at TheStreet.com indicates that Apple filed for a trademark on the phrase "Mac Pro" in New Zealand in late 2005. The November 18th 2005 filing categorizes "Mac Pro" under the following classifications:
computers; computer hardware; computer software; computer peripherals; notebook computers; laptop computers; tablet computers; computer servers; handheld computers; mobile computers; hard drives; audio speakers; speakers for computers; radios; cameras; video cameras; telephones; mobile telephones; personal digital assistants; electronic organizers; electronic notepads; magnetic data carriers; telephones; mobile phones; computer gaming machines; microprocessors; memories boards; monitors; displays; keyboards; computer input devices; computer cables; modems; printers; parts and accessories for all the aforesaid goods
It's pretty clear that Apple is moving to an all "Mac" naming convention for their hardware in an attempt to better position the company's brand and to get more mileage out of it. If the professional Apple notebook is called the MacBook Pro and the upcoming consumer notebook (to replace the iBook) is named the MacBook, one could infer that the professional desktops will be called "Mac Pro."
Where does this leave the consumer desktop, the iMac? Will Apple drop the "i" designation in an attempt to consolidate the names to Mac Pro and Mac? I sure hope not. What's next? Will they re-label the iPod the "MacPod" in an attempt to further extend the Macintosh brand to the crazy-popular music player?
The other interesting thing to note in the article at TheStreet.com is that Apple has taken to registering their patents in foreign countries in an attempt to keep them hidden from journalists that know how to use the Internet. There's a loophole that allows companies to register trademarks internationally and transfer them to the U.S.
International regulations allow a company to file for a trademark in one country and essentially transfer that protection to another country months later. Under those international rules, the second country has to treat a transferred trademark application as if it was filed there on the same date that it was filed in the first country.
Take these recent examples of Apple trademarks registered internationally: iPod Hi-Fi, iPod nano, Mobile Me (Hong Kong), Numbers (Malaysia), Mac Pro (New Zealand), Mac Mini (Singapore) and iPhone (Switzerland).